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Back in Rome last August (click here for more details), we fell in love with this place my sister had recommended (here). On the day we stumbled upon Sant’Eustachio Caffé, we weren’t really looking for it, but just the sight of it made us feel like we had reached an oasis in the middle of the August heat. Once we’d taken a seat on one of the tables outside, we quickly learnt the difference of price between being served outside or just having a quick coffee inside, standing at the coffee bar. We opted for a seat, 1 cold coffee for me, one fresh Kampari/Orange for Jean and both of our captivating books. I can still feel the charm and pleasantness of it all 🙂

sant'eustachio | breadonbutter

Sant’Eustachio Caffé is located in the heart of Rome, just minutes away from Piazza Navona and the Pantheon, facing the actual Basilica named for the martyr of Saint Eustace. We went there twice while we were there for a nice coffee a l’italiana. When you enter to order, you learn the charming story of this place.

sant'eustachio | breadonbutter

Sant’Eusatchio has been successful and crowded since 1938. Kissinger and many other international famous people have visited it. I say Kissinger because the owners are so proud of his visit that they hung the newspaper story about it on the wall and on their website (you can see the picture below).

sant'eustachio | breadonbutter

Sant’Eustachio is not merely a Coffee shop, but also a Roaster. Brothers Raimondo and Roberto Ricci began running the Caffè in 1999 to continue the family tradition of selecting coffee varieties and offering a range of product prepared with a legendary secret blend. Their priority is only one: ensure consistent quality. The Sant’Eustachio coffee blend is made with the best Arabica beans. The raw coffee is slowly roasted over wood.

sant'eustachio | breadonbutter

You can of course sit down for a nice cup of coffee but you can also purchase it and make it at home.

All the coffee varieties, roasted, washed and selected, are top quality. The freshness and the high quality of the product guarantee an ever fresh fragrance and a quintessential aroma which cannot be found in the coffees of large-scale retail trade.

sant'eustachio | breadonbutter

Of course, the place is now more touristic and more expensive than typical Italian coffee places, but in my opinion, at least one visit there would be a nice addition to your trip.

Another great thing about Sant’Eustachio Caffé is their Buon Caffé initiative

The Buon Caffé Program is an initiative by Sant’Eustachio Il Caffè. The Program consists in donating the extra proceeds from the sale of the traditional Sant’Eustachio Blend to COOPFAM, the Brazilian Fairtrade certified co-op from which Sant’Eustachio  buys coffee. The protagonist of this initiative is the consumer who, through a traceability procedure, can actually control the use of the proceeds.

sant'eustachio | breadonbutter

Have you been to Rome? Any other places to recommend?

Giovanni De Luca, is a person I have known for exactly 9 years. You can therefore imagine I know him quite well, especially that we were born on exactly the same day. As a fellow Leo, I can safely say that he is determined. Having an Italian father and a Lebanese mother, he had the opportunity a few years ago to go live and do business in Rome, his city of origin. And there he went, determined to make it happen. A few years later, I’m sitting in Vicolo 88 – Garden, amazed by what he has accomplished.

While we were in Rome 2 weeks ago, we went to Vicolo88 twice (the garden, that is – because there are two Vicolo 88: one in the center in Via Dell’Orso, more of a Bistrot; and one in EUR, in the outskirts of the city, which is more for the summer and the good weather and is outdoor with a garden and fabulous Italian music).

red orange green blue

 

Once you arrive at Vicolo88 – Garden (Viale America, 18 – 00144 – Eur – Roma – Tel +39 06 87728001), you immediately feel good, relaxed and ready for a really nice and cool evening. A Spritz is a must upon your arrival (it’s literally one of the best Spritz I have ever tasted), followed by (hold on tight) potato peels, fried and sprinkled with pecorino cheese! Yes. Believe it my friends.

What followed was an array of beautiful and tasty dishes that make me want to go back and eat up. I’ll let your eyes savor them for now – until you’re sitting there yourselves!

Starters:

aperitivo-aperol-spritz-vicolo-88-rome
Spritz
potato-skin-vicolo-88-rome
Potato skin and Pecorino Cheese
fried-zucchini-vicolo
Fried Zucchini
pizza-fleur-de-courgettes-vicolo
Pizza topped with cheese, anchovies and zucchini flowers
Starters-Vicolo-88-Rome
The fluffiest Foccacia – a flavorsome Tuna Tartare – a fresh Squid Carpaccio

Mains:

Spaghetti-al-vongole-Vicolo-88-Rome
The famous Spaghetti al Vongole
spaghetti-ai-frutti-di-mare-vicolo
Cheese and Frutti di Mare Pasta

And last but not least, dessert!

moelleux-au-chocolat-vicolo
Chocolate Moelleux

Rome is one of my favorite cities and for those of you who still haven’t been there, I seriously tell you to pack your bags this summer and head to Italy. You won’t regret it for a minute.

My sister Mia, the one who’s on the perfect cookie quest (read here for more details), lives in London. For her Easter holiday, she met my mom in Rome and they had the real dolce vita for a few days. I asked her to send me the highlights of her trip so that I could provide you with a taste of this great city. Here’s what one day in Rome could be like.

1. Start your day with a coffee and brioche at “Sant’Eustachio il caffe” (http://www.santeustachioilcaffe.it/) – best “caffe” in Rome. Have a quick breakfast at the bar.

2. Visit the church of San Luigi dei Francesi (http://saintlouis-rome.net/) which is just a few footsteps away from the cafe. It’s one of the few churches where you can see some of Caravaggio’s paintings for free and the church itself is beautiful.

San Luigi dei Francesi 2

3. Walk to Piazza Navona (a few minutes’ walk from the church). It’s one of the best “piazzas” in Rome. There, you can find the best gelato place. My advice would be Orange and Nutellone gelato flavors.

4. At lunchtime, head to Vicolo 88 on Via dell’Orso 88 for a nice lunch at one of my good friend Giovanni De Luca’s restaurants. (www.vicolo88.it)

viccolo 3 viccolo 1

5. After lunch, head to Via del Corso for a bit of shopping and also visit the spanish steps and fontana di trevi close to there. Then, if you want, catch the andy Warhol Exhibition which is a fascinating summary of the artist’s life and his work. (http://www.wantedinrome.com/whats-on/2003489/andy-warhol-in-rome.html)

Spanish Steps

6. Later in the afternoon, go to Campo dei Fiori for a quick dash around the cutest market and then cross the bridge to Trastevere for a nice aperitivo (make sure you order a nice and fresh “Spritz”) followed by dinner in one of the charming trattorias around there.

Campo dei fiori

Aperitivo

This is just a preview of all the things you can do in Rome. There are so many other beautiful places there to see and restaurants to eat in. I’ll make sure to share everything if I go there this year.

Meanwhile, all you have to do is dream 😉